Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Magical Express!!

One of the great perks of staying at a Disney resorts is the FREE transportation all around property and also Magical Express!

Magical Express is the free shuttle service that picks you up at the airport, takes you to your Disney resort, and then at the end of your trip, it takes you back. I love free, so it's a huge perk in my book!

Before you leave home, you'll receive a packet in the mail from Magical Express. It will contain directions for how to find the Magical Express counter at Orlando Airport as well as bright yellow luggage tags. The tags go on your checked bags before you check them at your home airport. I'll explain those later!

Hop on the plane and soar off for your awesome vacation! The magic starts the second you step off your plane at Orlando International Airport!

When you get to Orlando, you'll be in one of the 4 terminals. You'll need to take the tram to the main terminal. It's easy to find. Just follow the masses. :) Once you're in the main terminal, you'll be on level 3. You need to go down to Level 1, B side,  where all the car rental companies are and the other shuttle services. There will be a great little map in your Magical Express packet.

Simply follow the signs to the check in counter. If you have your Magic Bands on already, simply scan them. If not, you'll need the voucher that was mailed to your house. A Cast member will scan it and direct you to the line for your resort.

Oh, and your luggage?? Don't even worry about it! Those yellow tags mean Disney will grab them from baggage claim for your and whisk them away to the resort. No need for you to fetch them! (It may take up to 3 hours for them to arrive at your resort, so make sure you keep anything of importance with you in your carryon, or just leave the tags off. But if you leave them off, you'll need to fetch your bags from baggage claim at Orlando Airport.)

Once your bus arrives, a Cast Member will escort you to it. If you have suitcases or larger items like a stroller, they will need to be stored in the bus's storage compartments underneath. When you're all set, take a seat and get ready for a fun ride!

The trip from Orlando Airport to the Disney property takes approximately 35-40 minutes, depending on traffic. And the buses often stop at 2 or 3 resorts, so if yours is last, it will take a little longer. But don't worry! Disney has you covered! They show a fun video during your ride. It's extremely informative and shows you all the fun things you'll be experiencing during your vacation. The ride just flies by!

Once you arrive at your resort, gather your belongings and any larger items that have been stored underneath the bus.

The night before you depart, a packet will be delivered to your room with important information about your Magical Express pick up time. It is usually 3 hours prior for domestic flights and 4 for international. Make sure you're there for your pick up time. They cannot guarantee you a spot on a later bus if you miss it.

As far as your suitcases go, you can check those at the Resort Airline Check in desk at the resort. No need to lug them onto the bus.

There you have it! I love Magical Express! Questions??? Ask away!!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Park Passes- Explained!

Disney offers guests several options when it comes to park passes. And it can be kind of hard to decide which one is best for you. Here is a breakdown of what each pass is :)

Base Ticket

This ticket gets you into one park for each day of your pass. For example, if its a 5-day pass, you can go to a Disney park on five separate days. You can go to the same park every day or a different one. You can do two at one, three at another, and so forth. But here's the important part. You can only go to one park each day. Once you enter one park, you can leave, but you can only return to that park. For example, if you go to Magic Kingdom in the morning, then leave and go back to the resort for a nap or swim, you can only return to the Magic Kingdom that evening.
This pass is a great option. There is so much to do and see in each park that there really isn't a need to leave. It's perfect for first-timers and families with young children.

Park Hopper Option

If you add the Hopper to your park pass, you have the ability to "hop" to other parks in the same day. So if you start your day at Magic Kingdom, but decide it's too crowded, or you just need a change of pace, you can go to a different park for the rest of the day. Or you can go to all four of the main theme parks in the same day.
This pass is great for veteran park-goers who know what they like and what they can skip. It's also great for short trips, when you want the option to hop around so you can do more parks in less days. But it's a pricey option. You need to make sure you will definitely use it several days of the trip to get its full value.

Park Hopper Plus

This option allows you the ability to hop as well as access to both of Disney's water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, plus Disney's Oak Trail Golf Course, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and both mini golf courses: Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland. You get one admission per day of your park pass. So if you have a 5-day park pass, you have 5 admissions to the water parks and other entertainment options.

This is a great option for longer trips when you can take full advantage of it. It's not worth the money if you are only able to use it once or twice. If it's a shorter trip, you can always purchase a one-day pass for the water parks. And you can hop between them, no extra charge!

One more thing I'd like to mention. The length of your park pass is not tied to the length of stay, like the dining plan is. You can stay 7 nights but only do a 5-day park pass. If you get the Hopper Plus option, you can use those options on your non-park days.

Questions?? Ask away!